Conservation of the Humboldt Penguin and its habitat in Chile - Dublin Zoo is Ireland's most popular visitor attraction, and welcomed almost one million visitors last year.

Conservation of the Humboldt Penguin and its habitat in Chile

Humboldt penguins have undergone dramatic population fluctuations in the past and overall, their numbers are declining. Therefore they have been classified as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN (IUCN, 2010).

There are between 2,500 and 10,000 adults in the wild. Numbers vary widely from year to year, but the general trend is downwards.

The main threats the Humboldt penguins face are getting caught in fishing nets, capture for food and the pet trade, extreme climate events and breeding sites being disturbed.

Since 2007, Dublin Zoo has been supporting Humboldt penguin conservation in Chile, firstly through Foundation Otway and then through Sphenisco, e.V. Sphenisco works with Chilean and Peruvian scientists and activists and is committed to the protection of Humboldt penguins. This organisation is involved with research, monitoring and protection of breeding islands, campaigning for the creation of marine protection areas and environmental education. In 2010, Sphenisco, along with other concerned bodies, convinced the Chilean government to overturn a decision to build a coal-fired power station in La Higuera, an important area for Humboldt penguins. Over 27,000 signatures were collected from Chile, Europe and around the world and this had a major impact on the decision.

Dublin Zoo is also part of the European Zoo Breeding Programme for the Humboldt penguin species and gives €1,500 a year for conservation work in Chile and Peru to protect breeding sites, run educational programmes and lobby for marine protection areas.

 

 

There are between 2,500 and 10,000 adults in the wild. Numbers vary widely from year to year, but the general trend is downwards. Threats:  » Caught up in fishing nets; » Capture for food and pet trade; » Extreme climate events; » Breeding sites disturbed.
Conservation: Dublin Zoo is part of the European Zoo Breeding Programme for the Humboldt penguin species and gives €1,500 a year for conservation work in Chile and Peru to protect breeding sites, run educational programmes and lobby for marine protection areas.

 

 

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